Welcome to this issue of "Dr. T's Timely Tips" by Dr. Tony Alessandra. Please send your feedback to info@alessandra.com!

Applying Artistic Genius

For your own life, the example of Disney as artistic genius is especially relevant. While it is possible that you may patent thousands of inventions or become president of the United States, the odds are against it, but on a smaller scale, the tools of artistic genius are always available to you.

Walt Disney was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1901. His home life and childhood were far from the idealized turn-of-the-century landscape he would later create at Disneyland. His father in particular was a difficult man emotionally, and an unsuccessful one financially. Walt found a couple of different ways to escape from this environment. First, he escaped into art, taking classes and drawing whenever he could. Second, he enlisted in the Red Cross ambulance service during the First World War, because at the age of 16 he was too young to join the regular army.

After the war, Disney went to Kansas City, and began a career as a commercial artist. There he discovered animation, and the all the possibilities it offered for creating an alternate world. At first, this world was constructed out of pure imagination. Later, it would be projected onto movie screens and television -- and ultimately it would become physical reality at Disneyland and Disney World. It would become the basis for a multi-billion dollar entertainment empire.

Walt Disney had nothing like a classical artist's gifts, such as Leonardo's abilities. There were thousands of people who could draw better than Walt Disney could -- and when he entered the new field of animation, there were many people who were better at that as well. When we look back on it today, it is easy to think that Mickey Mouse was some sort of breakthrough creation that was destined to revolutionize the world. However, there were other cartoon characters that were already very popular, and that were just as charming and creative as the Mouse. For example, what was wrong with Felix the Cat? Why is he forgotten today? Why wasn't there a television show called the Felix the Cat Club instead of the Mickey Mouse Club?

One big difference, perhaps the big difference, was that behind Mickey Mouse there was a personality whose genius was to take this very little mouse and to make it extremely large. To take something that at first had no substance -- no reality -- and to give it material being on a scale that kept getting larger and larger.

What does it take to use those tools? It is simply a matter of taking the vision that is in your mind and moving it into the world in some tangible form. It is taking your vision one step beyond just talking about how you will write it, record it, or film it "when you get time." Taking that step is the essence of artistic genius. Don't worry about whether your creation will be seen by one person, or a million people, or just by you alone. Focusing on those things -- like saying you "don't have the time" -- is just an unconscious way to avoid actually doing anything. The important thing is to separate yourself from the many, many people who tell me they have something they want to say, but who never get around to saying it.

Here's to more personal insight,


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Even Artistic Geniuses Flub Something Up From Time-to-Time

Walt Disney is probably best remembered for bring smiles to the faces of young and old alike. However, this renowned artistic genius certainly had his share of flops. Take this one, for example.

For the New York City premiere of Pinocchio in 1940, Walt Disney hired eleven little people dressed as Pinocchio to frolic on the roof of the theater marquee. To accompany their lunches, the gang was given free beer, for which they were grateful to Disney. Indeed, the group was so grateful, and got so drunk, that they stripped naked and sat on the marquee shooting craps. Disney called the police, who climbed to the roof and hauled the little ones away - in pillowcases.

So, when you are trying your best to be as artistic as possible, just remember, no one is perfect - even geniuses make mistakes from time-to-time.